On Taking a Leap

by @AnnieDaylon

 Angel the Clown, a once-upon-a-time busker on Granville Island.

Angel the Clown, a once-upon-a-time busker on Granville Island.

When I first moved to Vancouver, I was in awe of buskers. How on earth did they summon the courage to perform in the street? I wanted to try it but I had to talk, no, trick myself into it.

Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market is a well-known venue for street performers. Transportation to it from my place of residence meant a trip on the Granville Island ferry. One day (not in costume), I put my soprano recorder into my purse and counted out enough coins for a one-way trip to Granville Island. In order to pay for the return trip, I would have to park my butt someplace, pull out that recorder, and play a few tunes. 

Upon arrival at Granville Island, I strolled through the market. Then I sat at an entrance and, trembling something fierce, I extracted my recorder from my purse. I put the beret I was wearing onto the ground, shaped it into a coin receptacle, and started in. I don’t recall all of the tunes, but one of them was certainly the familiar “Early one morning just as the sun was rising…”  

I have to say that there could have been no sound as encouraging as the jingle of coins. Once the first few dropped, I continued playing, all the while counting coins out of the corner of my eye. When I was certain I had enough money to pay my way home, I put my recorder away, picked up my beret, and, with the stealth of a flash mob member, slid back into the crowd. 

After that, I borrowed a clown costume which my sister had created for herself for Hallowe’en and spent a few summer afternoons as Angel the Clown, a children’s entertainer on Granville Island. It wasn’t difficult for me to come up with material–recorder tunes, action songs, sing-a-longs– as I had already spent time as an elementary music teacher.

The memory of that summer is a fond one for me, not only because I enjoyed the experience but because it was one which paved the way for my leap-taking philosophy. As an author, propelled by dreams, I regularly thrust myself forward on the road to writing, always trusting that there will be someone or something there to support the journey.

Do you have any stories about taking a leap? Please share…

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Writing Goals for 2014

by @AnnieDaylon

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Today, as the tide slips over the release date of my novel, Castles in the Sand, I am setting goals for 2014.

 

I started by listing accomplishments of 2013, an activity I recommend. I discovered that, despite bouts of doubt (do you have those ‘am I doing enough’ moments??) I accomplished a lot. Included on my list:

  • publishing a novel;

  • working with a partner (accomplished author, Michael Hiebert) to organize a book launch party;

  • attending conferences;

  • blogging and tweeting on a regular basis;

  • facilitating workshops;

  • attending Federation of BC Writers three-day writers’ retreat;

  • diving into technology (almost drowned… still here!),

  • learning that I must pick and choose my path because there are so many options and there is no way can I do everything. (Must keep it simple.)

 

With that last point in mind, I am listing just three goal categories. In order of importance, they are:

    Writing:

  • Write first!  Write regularly. (Novel first, always! I intend to finish, and market, my historical suspense novel.)

  • Write short stories for contests. (Love the contest concept; it is a vehicle for honing writing craft.)

  • Write a non-fiction book about writing. (Have learned a lot; intend to share.)

   Reading:

  • Read, Read, Read!  Read up. Read down.  (I laughed recently when I received an email from Goodreads congratulating me on having read two books in 2013.  The reality is that I read a minimum of two books a week. 🙂 Since I already keep an alphabetical list of everything I read, I will transfer more of that info to Goodreads in 2014.)

  • Read more Indie Authors (I am one; should support same. Mea culpa.)

  • Write a few short reviews.

   Platform/Marketing:

  • Continue to share info via Twitter and Blog. Am focusing on these two because, like I said, I can’t do everything. However, I will also use other media, such as Linked In & Pinterest, and, of course, Goodreads.

  • Hire for Tech issues. (In many cases, time trumps money; I cannot spend hours trolling tech forums when I can spend a few dollars employing tech wizards.)

  • Learn to do Webinars.

  • Get help with marketing. (Not sure what this looks like yet but am putting it out there.)

So, there it is. A list of goals. Seems simple enough. And that’s the point: to keep it simple. Simplicity allows for success, for change, and for adaptation to whatever rolls in with the tides of 2014.

What are your writing goals for 2014?

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My best to you for 2014 and always,

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